Will mobile payments kill cash?

For all the hype, mobile payments still account for a very small fraction of retail in-store payments. Which, at least for the time being, answers the question posed in a newly released research paper commissioned by the ATM Industry Association and authored by Tremont Capital Group, a provider of ATM consulting, research, and M&A advisory services.

“U.S. Mobile Payments: Do They Disrupt Cash?” examines the impact of mobile payments on cash today and in the future. The paper reviews all segments of the U.S. retail payments ecosystem, and all payment schemes that compete with cash, including debit, credit and gift cards, and open- and closed-loop prepaid cards.

Tremont Capital’s research shows that mobile payments are catching on to some extent, but slowly, and with small numbers of consumers and retailers to date. And, while the paper finds promise in mobile payments, it also determines that they present little threat to cash through the forecast period of 2015–2020.

To the extent that mobile payments do take share from other forms of payment over the next five years, it will come mostly at the expense of electronic payments, Tremont Capital concludes.

Tremont Capital Group concludes that any market share migration from cash to mobile between 2015 and 2020 will be negligible.

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